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F/Lt. R. W. Oxspring - 66 Squadron

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Robert Wardlow Oxspring was born in Sheffield on 22nd May 1919, the son of a World War 1 decorated pilot of the same name. He joined the RAF in March 1938 on a short service commission and joined 66 Sqn in the December and started operational flying in July 1940, flying throughout the Battle of Britain. His Spitfire X4170 was shot down by Bf109s over Kent on 25th October, baling out with slight injuries (Caterpillar Club Badge). He was awarded the DFC on 8th November. September 1942 saw him awarded a bar to the DFC. Moving to Mediterranean combat, it is thought probable that Oxspring was the pilot who shot down renowned German ace Anton Haffner of JG51 on 2 January 1943. Oxspring led his squadron to be the highest scoring in the North African theatre, and survived his second shooting down of the war, Oxspring was awarded a second bar to his DFC in February 1943. During the war Squadron Leader Oxspring had registered 13 solo kills with 2 shared, 2 probable kills and 4 solo V-1 Flying Bombs destroys and 1 shared. In 1946 he was awarded the Dutch Vligerkruis by Royal Decree of the 31st October 1946 appearing in the London Gazette on 10th January 1947. He was awarded an AFC in January 1949 after leading a team of 54 Sqn Vampires to Canada and the USA, the first jet aircraft to cross the Atlantic. He retired from the service with the rank of Group Captain, having been Station Commander of RAF Gatow, Germany, in 1968 and settled in Lincolnshire near to RAF Cranwell. He died on 8th August 1989.


Awarded the Distinguished Flying CrossAwarded a Bar to the Distinguished Flying CrossAwarded Two Bars to the Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished
Flying Cross
Bar to the
Distinguished
Flying Cross
Two Bars to the
Distinguished
Flying Cross

Items Signed by Group Captain Bobby Oxspring (deceased)

 Bobby Oxspring in his 66 Squadron Spitfire destroys an ME109 of JF/53 Ace of Spades Group, in a high level attack at 30,000 feet above Dover, 18th September 1940. Angels Three Zero by Robert TaylorClick For DetailsDHM2084
Group Captain Bobby Oxspring (deceased)


Latest Allied Battle of Britain Artwork Releases !
For nearly a thousand years the white cliffs of southern England had taunted many a foreign army.  These fortress walls of chalk, however, were defended by the moat-like waters of the Channel, and together they had shielded the British from her enemies.  Alongside Drake they had defied the armies of Spain and her great Armada and, in 1805, had halted the march of Napoleon's <i>Grand Armée</i>.  No enemy force since that of William the Conqueror in 1066 had successfully managed to cross the Channel in anger but, in May 1940, one of the most powerful armies the world had ever seen arrived at Calais.  An invasion by Hitler's all-conquering Wehrmacht was imminent - or so it seemed.  To cross the Channel and breach the English defences, the Luftwaffe simply had to gain control of the skies, and with massively superior numbers the outcom seemed inevitable.  The fate of Britain lay in the hands of less than 3,000 young airmen from Fighter Command - Churhill's 'Few'.  By July the most famous air battle in history was underway and, over the next three months under tranquil summer skies, the 'Few' battled to defend their Scpetred Isle.  Impossibly outnumbered and flying daily to the point of exhaustion, by October these courageous young men had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, emerging defiantly victorious.  The threat of invasion might be over but a terrible price had been paid - during that long battle for the survival of Britain 544 had been killed and 422 wounded; and of those who survived a further 814 would be killed before the end of the war.  This painting pays tribute to the valiant 'Few', portraying a fleeting moment of calm for the pilots of 74 (Tiger) Squadron during the height of the Battle of Britain.  With his commanding officer Sailor Malan (ZP-A) to his right, Acting Flight Lieutenant John Freeborn (ZP-C) takes time to reflect on another day of intense combat while passing over the white cliffs and the familiar lighthouse at Beachy Head, as the squadron cross the English coast to head for home.

This Sceptred Isle by Robert Taylor.
 A lone Spitfire of 266 Squadron is shown above the sunlit haze of London and the Thames, during the Battle of Britian. 266 Squadron was reformed on 30th October 1939 at RAF Sutton Bridge as a fighter squadron. The squadron was one of the Rhodesian gift squadrons and was named 266 (Rhodesia) Squadron in honour of the gift. Originally it was equipped with the Fairey Battle light bomber, but soon after in January 1940 it received the Supermarine Spitfire and became a fighter squadron. It was in action over Dunkirk in early June and fought in the Battle of Britain.

Guardian of Freedom by Timothy OBrien.
The Luftwaffe had done everything in its power to pummel London into submission but they failed. By the end of September 1940 their losses were mounting. For weeks since the early days of September, London had been the main target for the Luftwaffe and during that time Luftwaffe High Command had grown increasingly despondent as their losses steadily mounted. Far from being on the brink of collapse RAF Fighter Command, though vastly outnumbered, had shown an incredible resilience. The fighting had reached a dramatic climax on Sunday 15th September when, bloodied and bruised, the Luftwaffe had lost the upper hand on a day of intense combat that had culminated with a humiliating retreat. Almost every day that had passed since then had seen the Luftwaffe do everything in its power to pummel London and regain the initiative, but the daylight raids were becoming increasingly costly. On Friday 27th September, 80 days after the Battle of Britain had officially begun, the Luftwaffe came once more, this time concentrating on the fastest bombers they had - Ju88s and Bf110s. And they came in force, principally targeting London and Bristol. Anthony Saunders' superb painting depicts one of these raids, this time by bombers from KG77 as they head over the Medway Estuary, east of the City of London, in an attempt to attack the capital's warehouses and docks. Among the many units defending the capital that day was 92 Squadron from Biggin Hill and Anthony portrays the Spitfire of Pilot Officer Geoffrey Wellum in his dramatic piece. With a deft flick of the rudder Wellum banks his fighter away to port seconds after sharing in the destruction of a Ju88. It was just one of more than 50 German aircraft destroyed by the RAF during the day.
Decisive Blow by Anthony Saunders.
 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1As of No.610 (County of Chester) Sqn RAAF, intercept incoming Heinkel 111H-16s of the 9th Staffel, Kampfgeschwader 53 Legion Condor during the big daylight raids on London of August and September 1940 - the climax of the Battle of Britain.  Spitfire N3029 (DW-K) was shot down by a Bf109 on the 5th of September 1940 and crash-landed near Gravesend, Kent, thankfully without injury to Sgt Willcocks, the pilot.  For the record, N3029 was rebuilt and, following some brief flying in the UK, was sent overseas by convoy to the Middle East.  Ironically, the ship carrying this aircraft was torpedoed en route and both ship and all its cargo were lost.

Close Encounter by Ivan Berryman. (PC)

Battle of Britain History Timeline : 23rd August
DAYMONTHYEARDETAILS
23August1940A DO17 on a reconnaissance,nission was shot down by Anti Aircraft battery at Duxford and the crew of the DO17 survived and became POW
23August1940A Ju88 bomber was shot down by fighters in the Weymouth area
23August1940Battle L5503 , WT-?, - Crashed. Midshipman Taylor taken prisoner, Pilot Officer A G Middleton taken prisoner, Sergeant L M Lowry killed.
23August1940Battle L5582 , WT-?, - Crashed in English Channel. Sergeant E A Pearce killed, Sergeant T S Duncan killed, Sergeant G Thompson taken prisoner.
23August1940Blenheim T1990 Mk.IV , HA-?, - Crashed at Guines. Squadron Leader C C House killed, Sergeant P J Lefevre killed, Sergeant J D Howard taken prisoner.
23August1940Bridlington in Yorkshire was bombed at 0250 hours and suffered considerable damage, Casualties - 4 killed and one injured.
23August1940No 141 Squadron moved from Prestwick to Montrose and Dyce
23August1940No 253 Squadron moved from Turnhouse to Prestwick
23August1940No 603 Squadron moved from Montrose and Dyce to Turnhouse
23August1940Number of aircraft available for service on this day was 733 with 410 Hurricanes, 236 Spitfires, 55 Blenheims, amd 26 Defiants and 6 Gladiators
23August1940Oberfeldwebel Reuter of JG 3 shot down a Battle
23August1940Obergefreiter Ernst Jäckel of JG 26 shot down a Battle
23August1940Oberleutnant Hans Krug of JG 26 shot down a Battle
23August1940Oberleutnant Kurt Ebersberger of JG 26 shot down a Battle
23August1940One He111 was destroyed by fighters near Sumburgh
23August1940Royal Air Force fighters flew 200 patrols involving 507 aircraft
23August1940Spitfire R6620 Mk.Ia - Damaged on operations.
23August1940Spitfire R7016 Mk.Ia - Missing after patrol over English Channel. Pilot Officer Beaumont killed.
23August1940Spitfire X4160 Mk.Ia - Collided with another Spitfire. Returned to Westhampnett. Pilot Officer Ritchie ok.
23August1940Unteroffizier Hopp of JG 3 shot down a Battle
23August1940Unteroffizier Gottfried Haferkorn of JG 26 shot down a Battle
Battle of Britain Timeline of Related Info : 23rd August
DAYMONTHYEARDETAILS
23August1941Former New Zealand Battle of Britain pilot, P/O A. L. Fowler of 248 Squadron, was Killed.
23August2001Former British Battle of Britain pilot, Sgt. D. H. Nichols of 56 Squadron, Passed away.

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